Spotted yesterday in the garden – a cool season migrant from the hills.
A small prize for the first correct answer.
- Firstly it’s a whistler – the robust head and bill are definitive.
- That means there are three possibilities: Olive, Rufous and Golden.
- Olive Whistler is well out of range, but one was seen recently along Forest Creek Castlemaine – this one can be ruled out though as Olive Whistlers are dark buff overall, apart from a pale throat.
- Rufous Whistlers, apart from adult males which this one clearly isn’t, have prominent streaking on the throat and breast in both immatures and adult females.
- This leaves the Golden Whistler – it’s obviously not an adult male. This one looks to be an immature – the pale rufous on the upper parts in the bottom photograph, while not that obvious, leave this as the most likely ID – the females can be very similar to immatures, which also tend to have a pale base to the bill. One further note – you may be just be able to make out the pale yellow wash on the vent and under tail coverts – this is a useful diagnostic feature for ‘grey’ Golden Whistlers.
I’m going to award two prizes, first to Alison Rowe for proposing a Golden Whistler and secondly to Anne Brophy for suggesting it was a juvenile. Thanks to you all for the interest in this post and for the great suggestions regarding the bird’s identity.